"Roundabout" as written by and Jon/howe Anderson....
I'll be the round about
The words will make you out 'n' out
You change the day your way
Call it morning driving through the sound and
In and out the valley

The music dance and sing
They make the children really ring
I spend the day your way
Call it morning driving through the sound and
In and out the valley

[Chorus]

In and around the lake
Mountains come out of the sky and they stand there
One mile over we'll be there and we'll see you
Ten true summers we'll be there and laughing too
Twenty four before my love you'll see
I'll be there with you

I will remember you
Your silhouette will charge the view
Of distance atmosphere
Call it morning driving through the sound and
Even in the valley

[Chorus]

Along the drifting cloud the eagle searching
Down on the land
Catching the swirling wind the sailor sees
The rim of the land
The eagle's dancing wings create as weather
Spins out of hand

Go closer hold the land feel partly no more
Than grains of sand
We stand to lose all time a thousand answers
By in our hand
Nex to your deeper fears we stand
Surrounded by a million years
I'll be the roundabout
The words will make you out 'n' out
I'll be the roundabout
The words will make you out 'n' out

[Chorus]

I'll be the roundabout
The words will make you out 'n' out
I spend the day your way
Call it morning driving through the sound and
In and out the valley

[Chorus]


Lyrics submitted by askewchan

"Roundabout" as written by Steve James Howe Jon Anderson

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

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Roundabout song meanings
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  • +8
    Song MeaningI remember some 30 years ago hearing an interview with members of Yes on the radio. The inevitable question about the meaning of "Roundabout" was asked. After 30 years I surprisingly remember much of the detail. The answer was that the song was written on the train as they were travelling to Montreux. "In and around the lake
    Mountains come out of the sky and they stand there" refers to the mountains and their reflections as they appeared on Lake Geneva during the trip. "Ten true summers," it was their 10th trip to the festival. "Catching the swirling wind the sailor sees the rim of the land the eagle's dancing wings create as weather spins out of hand," there was a storm building on the lake and they could see a boat heading in and an eagle riding the thermals while hunting. "Feel partly no more than grains of sand" and "surrounded by a million years" refers to how small they felt and how brief our existence within the magnificence of the setting.
    ltadpwon July 10, 2012   Link
  • +2
    General CommentThere are some close calls here on the meaning of Roundabout. But here it is for real:

    Jon Anderson said the song came about from a trip to Scotland. A roundabout is a traffic circle in Scotland. And near Loch Ness, fog settles in at the base of the mountains. They seem to come up out of the fog instead from the ground, so "Mountains come out of the sky" and stand there.
    ShutlOrbiton March 10, 2005   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI've read what Jon Anderson has said. This song has great meaning to me personally. It reminds me of when I first fell in love with, and began dating (living with) my now wife. She's from Canyon Lake, Texas. It's west of New Braunfels, Texas. New Braunfels is a old town settled by germans and has a european roundabout in the middle of town. Canyon Lake is in the hill country with lots of small mountains that regularly get fog around them from the lake. There are always brown eagles and turkey buzzards flying in a circular pattern out there. She's of teacher--of children of course. There is a place with dinosaur tracks called Dinosaur Flats about 2 miles from where we lived. The whole area used to be under the ocean. There are millions of deposits of sea life. I was born by the ocean in the summer and was 10 years old when this song came out. I moved to Texas at 24. I know that this doesn't make a whole lot of sense, but to me it forms a metaphor in my mind. It's a happy song. We need more happy songs. it makes me think of our first, spartan, years together. We're still very happy.
    Beach Bumon August 30, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI love Yes. They are incredible musicians and singers however I wouldn't get too hung up trying to understand Yes lyrics. My understanding is they are all basically meaningless except in a real general way. They are written basically for how the words sound tonally. They are intentionally intricate, complicated and obtuse to match the incredible musical virtuosity throughout their music. Simple lyrics just wouldn't cut it in these songs.
    liverdudeon June 25, 2003   Link
  • +1
    General CommentHere is a direct quote from Jon Anderson about the meaning of the song: "We were driving down from Aberdeen to Glasgow, down through the valleys. There were all of these clouds around, and you couldn’t see the mountains. They seemed to come right out of the sky as we were going down to the roundabouts. That’s where that lyric came from. Within 24 hours we would be back in London, so that was the next line. If you listen to the solo, it sounds very Scottish, too. It was really one of those very fun songs." Source: somethingelsereviews.com/2011/04/14/one-track-mind-jon-anderson-on-roundabout-gates-of-delirium-hearts-others/
    darkoffon January 09, 2016   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis song has a meaning, i'm sure it does but exactly what i dont know... seems like the singer is talking about times he's had on the lake with his love, but maybe he's on drugs? cuz his words arent very clear. its like poetry on lsd. nonetheless, this is like one of my favorite songs. why cant anyone make music like this anymore?? it makes me happyyy and i cant wait to see yes at shoreline on the 20th... wonder what they're like 30 years post their prime. if anyone knows exactly what the song means, itd be really cool
    annelansberryon July 10, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti read in a yesbook that the whole thing with the mountains coming out of the sky was actually about some mountains that yes saw while they were on the road. jon said that because of the fog, the mountains seemed to be coming out of the sky. so that's where that came from...
    kalingzeyeon October 17, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWhat a wonderful song.. Makes me feel in a great mood!
    Kittypawon June 08, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General Commentyeah, the complexity of yes lyrics reflects their songwriting skills. gonna see yes in june :D dunno what it's like cos they're getting on a bit now...
    ziggystarduston April 19, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis song has the most incredible bass line.....i love it...so simple but pleasing
    butterrollon November 01, 2004   Link

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